As a project manager, you need wide-scale management over your tasks, employees, data and everything else. It’s no small task, but this holistic view over projects is crucial if you want them to be completed on time and to budget, and ultimately help the organization improve revenue streams and run the business more efficiently.
And yet, there continues to be a multitude of statistics regarding the number of projects that fail—whether it’s due to a lack of time, a lack of resources or a failure to adjust to inevitable project changes. 55% of project professionals reported they had a project fail in 2015, up from 50% the year before. So, not only are over half of businesses experiencing project failure, but more are experiencing failure than before—a worrying thought considering technology’s widely accepted ability to improve productivity and make our lives easier.
Why are project failures not just continuing, but increasing? Is it the fault of project managers? Or are the tools they’re using holding them back? And if that’s the case, what can be done to help them and project completion? In this post, we’re going to look at an important side to project management: resource management, and more specifically resource allocation and how creating a resource allocation model can save you time, money and cut stress.
When we talk about project resources, we are referring to all the resources that are required for a project. This encompasses:
- People—managing ‘people’ resources is another term for team management. This obviously means making sure your team can work together, but it’s also about considering the skillsets your project requires, the availability of project members and their respective workloads. It’s a lot to handle, and can often be the most difficult part of the project.
- Funding—even if it’s just to pay the wages of your team, your project is going to require money. This involves managing a budget: getting a realistic expectation of how much the project will cost and, perhaps most importantly, not exceeding that budget.
- Material Assets—this is the ‘everything else’ in your project. These assets can be anything from software and hardware to equipment, machinery or temporary property. Neglecting to plan for these assets before the project begins can become costly, as accommodating them mid-project is obviously going to cost you more.
Making sure these resources are entwined is where a large part of project difficulty stems from. And this is where resource allocation can help. In an ideal scenario, this would comprise of producing goods or services that match what customers wants at the lowest possible cost. This involves having the exact number of people on hand to complete a project; or perfectly aligning the reality of project costs with expectations. Fewer resources are expended in producing the desired outcome, which frees up other resources for things like further production, savings or investment.
Of course, we know that this ideal world for resource and project management doesn’t exist. In reality, there are a multitude of variables that must be considered during the project lifecycle—many of which cannot be accounted for and have to be managed mid-project. When you are juggling your people, funding and material assets—adapting them to fit around the fast-changing project demands—efficiency and effective resource allocation can often go out the window.
You might think that a Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solution is the answer for successful resource allocation. While projects making use of a PPM solution no doubt perform better, resource allocation challenges remain. 23% of companies using a PPM solution are still suffering with issues regarding resource allocation, and 38% encounter problems measuring the value of projects.
Project management involves everything from managing your pipeline and resources to finance, change and risk. Resource management is just one segment of the greater PPM landscape, but it is a segment so defined and important that approaching it using a broader PPM tool will limit your capabilities. It can quickly create a disconnect between your goals, expectations and results, especially if you are dealing with large portfolios and competitive projects. That’s why a dedicated resource management tool can help you master your projects and do more with them.
Resource modeling capabilities can greatly assist your resource allocation. Creating a resource allocation model, project managers can create scenarios to measure the effects of changes pre- or mid-project, before you invest the money and resources to accommodate or push forward such change.
With a resource allocation model, you’re able to explore and examine your data, test hypotheses and visualize the potential and perceived impact of increasing, reducing or otherwise changing resource allocation. You can explore your options ahead of time so you and come up with the best plan of action, better preparing for inevitable project changes that happen along the way. Ultimately, this can help project managers reduce risk and discover cost savings that you might otherwise have missed.
Tempus Resource, from ProSymmetry, uses state-of-the-art modeling and forecasting functionalities to help project and resource managers approach resource allocation in the most efficient and effective way possible. Taking a single project or an entire portfolio, users can create a resource allocation model to test, in real time, the effects of changing or modifying their projects to help maximize their resource forecasting.
For more information on resource management and creating a resource allocation model, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us today.